on Writer’s Digest:
Do you know who you’re writing for? Like, truly, actually who your readers are — and why they are (or should be) reading your stuff?
It’s easy to fall into the habit of writing what you love or writing to impress your peers or your editor. That might make for good writing… but it won’t necessarily attract readers. To do that, you have to write for, well, readers.
Someone has probably told you at some point in your writing journey to think about your “target audience.” So you went through the exercise: stated their gender, age, location, occupation, income bracket and relationship to your subject. You imagined them in a bookstore, picking up your book, loving it and demanding a sequel. You wrote pages about why they’d love your work more than your competition’s. You were ready to write a book they’d love and convince a publisher exactly why they’d love it.
But have you met these people? How do you know they’ll love your book? How do you know they… exist?